Technical regulation and standardization, transition to negotiations on the conclusion of the ACAA Agreement
According to Article 56 of Chapter 3 «Technical Barriers to Trade» of Chapter IV «Trade and Trade-Related Issues» of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, Ukraine takes necessary measures to gradually achieve compliance with the EU technical regulations and systems of standardization, metrology, accreditation, conformity assessment and market surveillance and commits to uphold principles and practices set out in the relevant EU-1 decisions and regulations.
Eliminating technical barriers to trade in industrial products is an important prerequisite for effective functioning of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area between Ukraine and the EU, as well as increasing Ukrainian exports of high value-added goods not only to the European Union, but also to other countries.
Adaptation of technical regulations and implementation of European harmonized standards will ensure high quality and safety of industrial goods for buyers, increase competitiveness of Ukrainian products and open new markets for exporters, promote innovative industrial development.
To this end, negotiations are under way with the EU to conclude an Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA Agreement).
According to Article 57 of Chapter 3 «Technical Barriers to Trade» of Chapter IV «Trade and Trade-Related Issues» of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, the parties agree to add the ACAA Agreement as a Protocol to the Association Agreement, which covers one or several sectors listed in Annex III to the Agreement, after full alignment of Ukraine's sectoral and horizontal legislation, institutions and standards with the EU sectoral and horizontal legislation, institutions and standards.
The ACAA Agreement will provide that trade in goods between the parties in the sectors covered by this Agreement shall be conducted on the same terms as apply to trade in goods between EU Member States.
After assessment by the EU and reaching an agreement on the state of harmonization of relevant technical legislation, standards and infrastructure of Ukraine, the ACAA Agreement is to be attached as a Protocol to the Association Agreement by parties’ approval in accordance with the procedure of amending the Agreement. The ACAA Agreement will cover three sectors from the list of Annex III, which shall be harmonized. It is anticipated that the ACAA will eventually apply to all sectors listed in Annex III to the Agreement, in accordance with the above procedure.
As soon as the ACAA Agreement extends to the listed sectors, the parties agree by mutual agreement and in accordance with the procedure for amending this Agreement to consider expanding their scope of activities in other industries.
Conclusion of the ACAA Agreement will provide access of industrial products to the markets of Ukraine and the EU countries based on mutual recognition of the results of conformity assessment on such products.
The issue of bilateral cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in the field of technical regulation and standardization is discussed within Association's bodies: Association Council, Association Committee, the Association Committee in trade configuration, as well as at the expert level - within the Working Group on Technical Barriers to Trade and Standardization of the EU-Ukraine High level Industrial Dialogue, Plenary Session of the EU-Ukraine High level Industrial Dialogue, Cluster 2 of the Subcommittee on Economic Affairs and Other Sectoral Cooperation of the EU-Ukraine Association Committee.
The issue of coordination of technical regulation activities with the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries is discussed within the Panel on Reforming Technical Regulation System and Related Infrastructure within the Platform №2 «Economic Development and Market Opportunities» of the EU Eastern Partnership Initiative.
The ACAA Agreement should become a unique format of cooperation and will include, in particular, the following:
- requirements of Ukrainian technical regulations for products are identical to the requirements of the relevant EU directives;
- standards that presume compliance with the requirements of technical regulations and their lists are identical to the corresponding European harmonized standards and their lists;
- requirements for notified bodies are identical to the requirements for notified bodies in the EU;
- Ukrainian manufacturers will have the right to apply European «CE» marking.
Low-voltage electrical equipment, electromagnetic compatibility of equipment and machine safety were identified as priority sectors for the ACAA Agreement at first stage.
To ensure compliance with EU technical regulations, Ukraine needs to harmonize market surveillance, standardization and conformity assessment systems with the requirements of the EU legislation.
On 29 October 2020, during online meeting of Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka with representatives of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine and the Directorate General of the European Commission for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) it was agreed that the pre-assessment expert mission will start its work to evaluate readiness of Ukraine's quality infrastructure for the conclusion of the ACAA Agreement.
The mission aims to «compile a list of legislative and regulatory actions that may be necessary to fully prepare for the ACAA negotiations». An inception report will be prepared, consolidating available information and following expected steps. This will be followed by a thorough evaluation of the technical regulation system, which will last at least 10 weeks.
Following assessing by the mission a state of adaptation of Ukrainian legislation and quality infrastructure, relevant recommendations will be prepared, which Ukrainian side should fully implement.
After Ukraine will have reported about implementation of the recommendations, the European Commission would launch a formal EU assessment mission. In case of positive conclusions of its work, the procedure of obtaining a mandate from the EU member states for negotiations with Ukraine on ACAA will be launched. This will be followed by the signing and implementation of procedures of entry into force.
On 12 March 2021 a meeting of the Working Group on technical barriers to trade within the framework of the EU-Ukraine High-Level Industrial Dialogue was held in a virtual format. The key purpose of the meeting was to discuss the conclusions of the interim report of the mission's experts on the preliminary assessment of Ukrainian quality infrastructure and the adaptation of national legislation.
Technical regulation (Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine)
National Accreditation Agency of Ukraine
National standardization body of UkrNDNC
Technical regulation in Ukraine
ACAA Agreement: Industrial Dialogue - A Step Towards (Webinar)
Communicative Platform on Technical Regulation in Ukraine